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Spring Digging Safety Tips
Spring is here, which means it's time to dig in the ground! If the earth banks aren't braced or a trench-box isn't used, a worker entering the trench will be putting him/herself at great risk. To this day, construction workers are still getting trapped in trenches, many times being buried completely by collapsing sidewalls. If buried completely, the rescue effort becomes a retrieval effort.
Here are a few of the most important points that every worker and supervisor must know when an excavation/trench is dug:

  • If the depth is 5’ or greater, protective measures must be implemented. Starting at 4’ depth, a safe way out must be provided either by a ramp or a ladder.
  • A “competent person” must be on hand at the initial dig to determine the type of soil being excavated. The "competent person" then determines the type of protective system that will be used (trench-box, sloping, shoring).
  • All excavations/trenches deeper than 20’ must have a registered engineer determine the method to keep the walls in place.
  • The “competent person” must inspect the trench daily before allowing any workers to enter. They need to inspect for fissures in the wall, water accumulation in the bottom, as well as if the air in the trench is safe to breathe.
  • Keep the spoils pile at least 2’ away from the edge, and be aware of the number and size of vehicles that drive by the trench.

Education on excavating is vital. If your crews need excavation training or superintendents need instruction on how to manage a sub who’s creating the excavation, don't hesitate to contact one of our safety professionals.
What OSHA is Saying
With the increase in respiratory protection use caused by the new Silica Dust rules, OSHA is encouraging employers to revisit its Directive CPL 02-00-158 Inspection Procedures for the Respiratory Protection Standard that was published in June of 2014. This Instruction establishes agency interpretations and enforcement policies, and provides instructions to ensure uniform enforcement of the Respiratory Protection Standard, 29 CFR 1910.134.
Some of its major points are:

  • Determine what engineering controls are in place and what work practices have been instituted, in order to effectively reduce exposure. Issuing respirators to affected workers is NOT enough.
  • Has the employer issued respirators that properly protect affected workers?
  • Has the employer developed a written respiratory protection program?

The complete Directive can be found here .

Brandon Black - (515) 577-5198 or  Brandon@IowaCSSI.com  
Tom Suckow - (515) 250-0773 or  Tom@IowaCSSI.com

New WORKSAFE Projects:
PROJECT:  ISU Reiman Gardens Southwest Corner Improvements
CONTRACTOR:  Rochon Corporation of Iowa, Inc. - Urbandale, IA

PROJECT:  Utilities Distribution System Replace Condensate Line #0748301
CONTRACTOR:  Maxwell Construction, Inc. - Iowa City, IA

PROJECT:  WRF Grit Improvement Project
CONTRACTOR:  Dean Snyder Construction - Ankeny, IA

PROJECT:  University of Iowa Parking Lots and Ramps - Reconfigure Finkbine Commuter Lot
CONTRACTOR:  All American Concrete, Inc. - West Liberty, IA

PROJECT:  Strayer-Wood Theatre Lighting Project
CONTRACTOR:  Peters Construction Corporation - Waterloo, IA

PROJECT:  UNI Noehren Hall Restroom Renovation Project - Phase One
CONTRACTOR:  Peters Construction Corporation - Waterloo, IA
PROJECT:  Smash Park
CONTRACTOR:  Koester Construction Co., Inc. - Grimes, IA

PROJECT:  Tiffin WWTP Improvements Phase 2
CONTRACTOR:  Portzen Construction Inc. - Dubuque, IA

PROJECT:  Clear Creek Amana Elementary School
CONTRACTOR:  Portzen Construction Inc. - Dubuque, IA

PROJECT:  Humboldt County Memorial Hospital Wellness Hub Addition
CONTRACTOR:  Graham Construction Co. - Des Moines, IA

PROJECT:  University of Iowa - College of Nursing
CONTRACTOR:  Conlon Construction Co. - Dubuque, IA

PROJECT:  Financial Plus CU
CONTRACTOR:  La Macchia Group, LLC - Milwaukee, WI
PROJECT:  Utilities - Chilled Water West Campus Distribution Improvements
CONTRACTOR:  Carter and Associates, Inc. - Coralville, IA

PROJECT: Linden Hall Window Replacement
CONTRACTOR:  The Wilson Group lnc. - Greenwood, MO

PROJECT:  Friley Hall Window Replacement
CONTRACTOR:  The Wilson Group lnc. - Greenwood, MO

PROJECT:  Wallace and Wilson Residence Halls - Window Replacement - Phase 2
CONTRACTOR:  The Wilson Group lnc. - Greenwood, MO

PROJECT:  Chilled Water Plant 2 West - Increase Cooling Tower Capacity
CONTRACTOR:  Calacci Construction Company, Inc. - Iowa City, IA

PROJECT:  North Cedar Elementary Addition & Remodel
CONTRACTOR:  Cardinal Construction, Inc. - Waterloo, IA

WORKSAFE is a partnership between Master Builders of Iowa and Iowa OSHA, with safety services provided by Construction Safety Specialists, Inc. For more information on the WORKSAFE program or for safety inquiries, please contact Tom Suckow at 515-657-4384 or  Tom@IowaCSSI.com

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